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Alaska has laws in place for driving under the influence and operating under the influence. While the names are generally interchangeable, operating under the influence tends to be used more for drivers who are operating recreational vehicles under the influence while driving under the influence is generally used for those who are actually driving a personal vehicle.
Both DUI and OUI have the same punishments in Alaska. In addition to each punishment, Alaska is also allowed to impound any vehicle that was involved in a DUI conviction or accident. Make sure you are covered with our free quote tool above!
Blood Alcohol Content
To measure how much a person has had to drink, Alaska law enforcement officials will measure the person’s blood alcohol content (BAC).
The measurement tells the officer what percentage of blood has alcohol in it and can be measured using a Breathalyzer test or a blood test. The limit for BAC in Alaska for a person who is over 21 years old is .08 percent.
– Lookback Period
Alaska has a lookback period of 15 years. The lookback period means the state will actually look back on the past 15 years to determine the number of DUI offenses a person has.
There are little to no exceptions to this period of time and offenses carry larger punishments as the number of offenses goes up.
DUI Statistics in the United States
In general, DUI fatalities are declining; they have dropped over 50 percent since the 1980’s. During this time, states have increased the laws for DUI, have added more fines, have set heftier minimum punishments and have pushed an anti-DUI agenda.
There is a direct correlation between the reduced number of DUI fatalities and the increased punishment for the DUIs.
For a person’s first DUI in Alaska, they are required to:
- Lose their license for 90 days
- Spend a minimum of 72 hours in prison
- Pay $1,500 minimum fine
- Pay $200 for reinstatement of their license
- Use an interlock device for one year
- Carry SR-22 liability insurance for five years
Drivers may also be required to attend an ASAP-endorsed treatment program. There are no required classes for a DUI, but each judge in Alaska may choose to use their discretion to determine what programs a driver should attend for their first DUI.
The first DUI a person receives is a misdemeanor. In addition to the fines, drivers may be required to pay restitution if the property is damaged or if a person is injured as a direct result of the DUI.
If the person completes all the requirements of the punishment, they will be able to reinstate their license relatively easily in the state of Alaska after just their first conviction.
If a person is convicted of a second DUI within 15 years of their first, they will have stricter punishments. The second DUI offense in Alaska is still a misdemeanor.
The punishment for a person’s second DUI in Alaska are:
- A minimum of 20 days in prison
- A fine of $3,000
- One year of a revoked license
- $500 fee for license reinstatement
- The addition of SR-22 liability insurance,explained above, on their policy for 10 years
- An interlock device installed in their vehicle for two years
For a second offense, a driver is not required to take any classes and is not required to undergo any treatment for addiction. Judges in Alaska may choose to add addiction treatment to a DUI sentence, but they are not required to do so by state law.
Drivers who receive a second conviction for a DUI may choose to undergo treatment in an ASAP-recognized program that may count toward jail time or other parts of their sentence.
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For a third DUI in Alaska, the punishment and fines go up substantially. Since it is considered a Class C felony, the punishment is far greater.
Drivers who are convicted of a third DUI felony must:
- Surrender their license for three years
- Spend, at least, 60 days in prison
- Pay a $4,000 minimum fine for the DUI
- Carry SR-22 liability insurance for 20 years
- Use an interlock device for three years
Whether a driver receives addiction treatment as part of their sentence is up to the discretion of the judge, but many recommend it because of the severity of a felony. Drivers will be required to pay the same $500 reinstatement fee for their license.
While Alaska does have minimum sentencing requirements for felony DUI, they do not have maximum sentencing guidelines.
A fourth offense is the highest tier of a DUI a person will receive in Alaska. Each offense after the fourth will require the same punishment. The punishment for a fourth DUI offense is:
- Five-year license suspension
- A minimum of 120 days in prison
- A fine of, at least, $10,000
- SR-22 liability insurance for lifetime
- Three years of an interlock device
While the minimum sentence for license suspension in Alaska is five years with a fourth DUI offense, judges may choose to indefinitely suspend a person’s license. Drivers will generally be referred to addiction counseling upon their fourth DUI, but it is still not a requirement.
Since Alaska does not have maximum limits for DUI punishments, judges can increase the punishment by as much as they deem necessary to suit the number of times a person has received a DUI in Alaska.
Suspension and Reinstatement
For every DUI level in Alaska, drivers are required to surrender their license. Each time, the suspension is for a longer period of time. In addition to satisfying driving requirements and paying a fee of between $200 and $500, drivers will be required to have SR-22 liability insurance on their policy for set periods of time.
An SR-22 policy is different from a traditional policy because it guarantees the driver will remain covered by the insurance company. Alaska requires the insurance policy starting the last day a revocation was valid.
Drivers may be required to pay for the policy upfront, and if the policy lapses, the insurance company agrees to immediately notify the Alaska DMV that the person who had the policy is no longer insured.
Cost of DUI
In every DUI punishment, drivers are required to pay a fine for the DUI, but the fine is not the only reason a driver will have to pay more for a DUI.
The driver will also be required to pay restitution if anything was damaged or a person was injured in an accident as a result of the DUI.
Drivers who have had DUI convictions will also need to pay close attention to the prices when they are shopping around for insurance because it can be more costly for someone who was convicted of any DUI to be insured due to the SR-22 requirement and the high risk that accompanies the driver.
The state of Alaska requires all drivers who have been convicted of a DUI to have an interlock device. The device must be installed by a contractor of the DMV in Alaska. The device must not be tampered with or altered in any way.
An interlock device is used to test whether or not a person has had any alcohol before driving their own vehicle.
If a person wants their license reinstated, they have to have it installed in their vehicle. Before the car will start, the person must blow into the interlock machine and must not have a BAC of anything near the legal limit.
While there are no requirements for treatment in Alaska after a DUI offense, some judges may recommend treatment after the offenses which is more common after the first and the fourth.
If a person plans to use addiction treatment as part of their sentence, the treatment must be endorsed by ASAP and must correlate directly to the driver’s DUI or OUI sentence.
Addiction treatment has proven to be effective at helping people stop drinking, but may not always be the best choice for drivers who are not serious about quitting their habit. Make sure you shop around to get the best rate for your insurance with our free quote tool below!